Another cloudy day and again I was the last to leave. Ian and I provisionally arranged to meet in Kingussie and I set off through the bogs for the river crossing. The River Kingie can be very difficult to cross after rain but it wasn’t bad at all today – about mid-calf depth. My feet were already wet so it made no difference. I looked back at the bothy which seemed very isolated in the landscape.
I had wondered about climbing Gairich on the way – it was coming in and out of the mist and I wondered for a while what to do. But my shoulders were aching with the unaccustomed weight of my pack and I decided to skip it. Walking on, I met Colin and Matt who had been over the hill and we walked together for a while. John had hurt his knee (he had to retire from the Challenge later) and we met him a bit further on where he had been waiting. We walked along forest roads to Glen Garry.
A recently-retired colleague had designed and built a house in Glen Garry and had invited me to visit them. Roy and Cecilia had a fabulous house with great views through the woods towards the loch. They were incredibly hospitable with particularly memorable fruit cake and a had a very enjoyable few hours with them. They invited me to stay and I was tempted but the weather was fine and I thought I should get a few miles more done that day.
Colin and John had camped close by the closed Tomdoun Hotel – I had a phone signal there so called home to check-in then carried on to cross and dam and look for a camp site near Greenfields, on the south shore of the loch. It was a sunny evening but getting colder and the loch looked autumnal in the evening light. After passing the farm at Greenfields, I met Vicky camping in the forest, being watched by three Highland cows. They are gentle beasts but very curious and Vicky was a bit concerned they might take a closer look at her tent and trample it.
There weren’t many pitches but I found a reasonable flat spot about 8.30 just by the road and close to a small burn for water. The cows decided to come and take a look at me but I shooed them away and they were no trouble.